23rd of September 2019

I was listening to the Armcast podcast today, I had a few episodes backed up, and aside from there being some damn fine episodes recently (it’s always good, but Armand Rosamilia has had a string of really good interviews recently), but as I was listening today it’s made me realise I’ve been slacking big time recently. I’ve got into my head that I haven’t had time to write. That I’m editing and need time to sit down and just focus on that. So, in other word I’ve been making bullshit excuses for myself.

So today I’ve put a boot up my own butt and am going to get back on track. From here on out I’m aiming for a 1000 words a day. Because of how I’ve slacked off I’m not going to be able to hit my minimum target for words this year. I can do that while editing, CS1 needs a lot of edits and rewrites and scenes added so I’ll be able to get those words added easily.

Just over 500 words during my lunch break.

With the fanfic piece, well that’s going to be my reward when I hit the 1000 words. I haven’t done anything on it tonight because I’m wiped out. I’m going to watch another episode or two of Disenchantment and then read a little and then bed.

I listened to Solo on audiobook last week. Mur Lafferty did a fantastic job with this novel.

I do have NaNoWriMo coming up as well, and I need to pick up my pace for November.

And today I started The Big Head by Edward Lee once I’d caught up on Arm Cast.


5th February 2017

This morning I woke up at about 3:30am and couldn’t drop back off. So after 45 minutes I gave in and got up. I made myself a cup of tea, popped the gas fire on, fired up my laptop and wrote a blog post and knocked out 837 words before going back to bed at about 6:30.

The rest of the day has been focused on signing up for mailing lists of people I met yesterday at Birmingham Horror Con, looking them up on social media etc. and sorting out the swag I got from the Con. I did tidy a bookcase up that was in a state as well. I’ve also started a Star Wars marathon and have, at the time of writing this blog post, gotten to A New Hope. I don’t think I’ll get to The Empire Strikes Back, tonight. I think that’ll be tomorrow night that I get into that one now. Once I’ve finished A New Hope I’m going to get tucked into bed and read some more of Savant by Nik Abnett before I get an early night.


9th January 2017

Toady I wrote 659 words on Penal earth before work and during my lunch break. This evening I have dragged my heels a little bit. I had a little trouble getting rolling but when I did I managed to edit through 3500 words of The Space Watch.

I think a problem I’m having with getting started each day with editing is its been so long since I’ve done any real editing I’m a little wary of it. Hopefully the more I do the more easier it’ll be to get rolling.

So far the story isn’t in too bad a shape, but I’m still in the bit I was on before I stopped for NaNo, and it’s the bit just after NaNo that I’m worried about. I fear it’s going to be messy and require a fair amount of re-writing, but if it does, it does. There’s not a lot I can do about it. I’ll try not to get demoralised by it if I do have a lot of work to do to tidy it up. I need to look at it as just another step in the process.

Reading wise I’m about half way through Day of Chaos: Endgame (Judge Dredd). This story is just getting better and better and I’m loving the artwork in it. I’ve also started listening to Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon. This is the audio dramatisation of it and I’m really digging it. It’s reminded me just how much I love the Alien films, and also how much I love anything set in space. I’ve got an urge to watch the Alien movies, and films like Sunshine, Moon, Pandorum, Avatar, and Event Horizon. Also the Predator films, and I want to dive into the Star Wars movies again (loved Rogue One, by the way). So I think over the next few weeks I’ll be digging these films out of my movie library and having a little look around Netflix and Amazon video, I might start with The Expanse, I’ve heard that’s good.

Tonight though I’ll be getting into Day of Chaos: Endgame before bed. I want to see how this gets resolved.

Project Apollo Outline Is Done

After a fair bit of work I’ve got the outline for Project Apollo done! Well a rough outline at least. After reading through what I wrote during NaNoWriMo I’ve realised that it is not as bad as I thought. There is bits that obviously need reworking but its not going to take as much effort as I thought it was going to.
Now I’m going to type up the outline and notes and send them off to Owen to see what he thinks. Then i think it will be maybe a little more of a detailed outline and then hopefully we’ll be back on it within a couple of weeks ūüôā

I’m making good process with Catching Fire which is the second of the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and I’ve been listening to Apocalypse Z: The Beginning Of The End by Manel Loureiro at work. I’ve got about two and half hours to go on it and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends.

Now I’m off to type it up and email it off to Owen as I watch Star Wars ūüôā

Creating Different Cultures

One of the things I’ve noticed since I’ve been reading/listening to Scott Sigler is how different he makes his cultures from our own. Particularly in Sigler’s Galactic Football League series we see a lot of different aliens, and they are alien. They are not just humans with a little make up on but proper aliens with alien cultures and these vary strongly from humanity. It has even made me realise how little we see of alien cultures in movies like Star Wars (I wonder what the extended fiction of Star Wars is like?). I am going to write a lot of science fiction, a lot, and I need to look at what Sigler is doing, and find other books, TV shows, movies and video games and see how other people build alien cultures.

I also need to look at different human cultures, I’ve got a DVD series about Tribes, The Tribal Eye I think it’s called, which I’ve got to watch. I can’t afford to go around the world and see with my own eyes the various cultural differences but I do have the Internet which will have to do.

Imagination can only go so far and ideas breed, good ideas especially.

Reading What We’re Writing

When I wrote a quick post about mine and Owen’s brainstorming session on Monday I forgot to mention that the cheeky sod gave me homework, homework!!!! He is very keen on one part of our Project Apollo universe having a strong tribal element so he’s given me a David Attenborough series about tribes. I am quite looking forward to watching it if I’m honest.

After Owen gave me this bit of homework I asked him what he thought of Battlestar Galactica, he gave me a guilty, sheepish smile, so no. I felt it would be helpful to him but he said he did not want to be influenced by other work that is similar. I can see what he means by that and I have heard other writers say the same, but I’ve also heard writers say that we need to read in our genre so we can see what other people are doing which will can inspire our own work. Ill admit I’m a big Galactica fan and seeing how the Galactica moves and how the Vipers and Raptors move has convinced me that’s the way to go with the space craft movement in this huge universe that Project Apollo and Project Delphi are set in. I think Battlestar Galactica did a lot of things right which has given me a lot to think about with some of the more background details.

I can see Owen’s point of view though. I’m dire it can be viewed as thieving ideas from others work but to me it is not. I think it’s a great way to thrash an idea out, and lets face it there is always something in one of our favourite books, TV shows, films etc. that we would change.

We are inspired and influenced by what fiction we’ve consumed. Owen is very highly influenced by The Lord Of The Rings, which is evident in what he writes. I think I’m influenced by Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Star Trek (mostly the later shows). These and other books, movies and shows do affect how I write. When I was watching Spartacus I found I was writing, dialogue in particular like how it is written in that show. The programme itself also gave me a very good idea for something of my own.

So I think we need to be exploring the genres we are working in, but caution is needed as none of us want to unintentionally steel from other writers (I know there is a specific word for that but of rather life of me I can’t remember what it is)


Disney Buys LucasFilm

It’s just coming out now that Disney has brought LucasFilm¬†for a reported 4.05 billion dollars and Star Wars 7 will be released in 2015.¬† This is just seeping out onto the internet but WOW!!! what a deal.¬† I love the original trilogy and I do enjoy the newer films, although I can see their faults.¬† With Disney taking the reigns I can see a whole new generation of Star Wars movies that¬†come close to having the same magic as the originals.¬† There are many questions about who will be in the¬†films, will they be a direct sequel to the original trilogy and if so how much time will be between the movies.¬† Will the original cast be re-casted or will other actors be cast for the roles of Luke, Han and Leia.¬† Will the original actors want to play the characters again?¬† Will they be using the original scripts and ideas for the next trilogy?

There is so much for Disney to do with this universe, I cant wait to see what they have in mind ūüôā

This Week’s Target

I need to finish¬†the read through of the early draft of Project Delphi by tomorrow night at the latest because I want to get cracking with the re-write on thursday.¬† I also want to get Fahrenheit 451 finished this week too.¬† I have got books stacking up to be read as well as four or five on my Kindle app which now that I have an iPad is easier to use and I really want to get stuck into J.J. Harkin’s¬†Angels Of Apocalypse, Part 1: Alignment because so far it is pretty good and it deserves to have my full reading attention.

In my wind down time after work (writing etc.) and before bed this week I’m going to be watching the Star Wars films in order (from Phantom Menace to Return Of The Jedi)

I have also been interviewed by the fabulous Cinta¬†Garcia on her blog which was posted today, please go and have a little look at the post and have a wander¬†around to see the amazing stuff Cinta has going on.¬† Her first book, The Adventures Of Little Nani is out soon.¬† Here’s the link http://cintascorner.weebly.com/meet-the-author.html


That’s it for now as I NEED to get some pages done tonight so enjoy your evening everyone ūüôā

Another Look At World Building

I was chatting with a friend, Stephen,¬†on Facebook yesterday about Star Trek and Star Wars and Batttlestar¬†Galactica¬†and Babylon 5 and Firefly and Stargate, well you get the picture.¬† And what I learnt about it was not only does he have a bloody good knowledge of the Star Trek universe but also a few little tips about research.¬† One of the projects that I, with Owen, am working on is set in a universe where mankind has ventured out into space and met a multitude of alien species and we have starships of various shapes and sizes as well as space stations, and as a writer of similar intergalactic escapades he shared a few little tips about how he does he’s research, and a lot of it is spent watching these shows and looking at how the technology works and the everyday difficulties of surviving in space (when I’ve tried this before I’ve got into the film/TV show and forgotten that I’m supposed to be making notes) To me these are the things that give a universe depth.¬† ¬†In Nathan Lowell’s series about¬†the life¬†of an orphan who joins kind of space age¬†freight¬†hauliers and¬†there¬†are a lot of little bits on how the ships are maintained.¬† These stories are really, really cool, so please check out the link >>>>>>¬†¬†http://solarclipper.com/about/

It was a good conversation that we had which gave me plenty to think about and really created some good little ideas.¬† As I’ve mentioned before I think depth is a massive component of a universe that a story is set in.¬† It’s all good and well having a strong plot and/or characters but if the world around them is weak then the reader may feel like they are loosing out.¬† This is one thing I find with Scott Sigler’s Galactic Football League series.¬† With each book we learn more and more about the wider universe and that depth is something that me and Owen need to weave into our stories.